How to plan an effective training so that you only have to do it once
Chances are you have been part of a training process at work, whether you had to train someone or have been trained yourself. Training a colleague is typically inconvenient even if you enjoy it because it takes time and focus away from your primary responsibilities. It is something that informally happens at work all the time yet there are rarely any guidelines provided on how to train effectively. How can you prepare a seamless and easy-to-understand training experience for someone taking over your old responsibilities? Here are 10 tips on how to plan and conduct an effective training so that you only have to do it once.
1. Create a Checklist
Plan an overview by making a checklist of all the training that you plan to provide. You can group similar tasks together as well as organize tasks in a particular order. Once the checklist is finalized, you can use it to plan out a training schedule. Having a checklist can also help to track the training in-progress, confirm the completion of each task and make it easy to provide status updates to upper management.
2. Provide an Overview of Responsibilities
Provide the trainee with an overview of their responsibilities to help them understand what they are accountable for. It is also helpful to inform the department if there are any updates to the role so that their colleagues are aware. Providing the trainee and the department with an overview of their responsibilities will mitigate any confusion with the trainee’s role.
3. Give a List of Helpful Contacts
Give your trainee a list of useful contacts so that they will know the appropriate person to contact. This list may include names, phone numbers and email addresses for employees within the team and in other as well as consultants, vendors and partners. You can easily share this info via Outlook or by making a spreadsheet. Providing a list will empower your trainee to reach out to the appropriate person for help and help the trainee integrate well into his or her new role.
4. Create a Transition Plan for Each Account
When dealing with a partnership or customer relationship management, creating a transition plan for each account is a great way to formally initiate a transition. Provide all the important things the trainee will need to know about that particular account, such as main contacts, day-to-day tasks, monthly reports and any contractual items or events that they need to plan in the foreseeable future. Personalizing a transition plan for each account will help the training session be more focused and allow more in-depth discussions.
5. Share Network and Email Folders
If there are documents or templates that would be useful for the trainee, let them know about those resources. For digital files, provide the hyperlinks to where the folders are located in the company’s shared directory and provide guidelines on how they are organized. Similarly, you can share access to certain email folders on your email server. Sharing email and network folders can help the new person catch up on issues and know where to save files going forward. An understanding of your department’s shared-drive system will help them find historical information to reference and save new files accordingly.
6. Create a Training Guide
A training guide is useful for people who appreciate details or are visual learners. Keep the instruction short and objective by using bullet points and screenshots. Make sure to encourage the trainee to add any additional notes that may be helpful and to keep the guide up-to-date. A comprehensive training guide is also a valuable resource for the team because it allows anyone to step in to assist when someone is out sick or on vacation.
7. Provide In-person Training
Some people just prefer in-person training. Show the trainee how to do the task step-by-step and also reverse the role by letting them perform the task with your supervision. Providing a thorough training in-person may help the trainee to commit certain tasks memory. If possible, provide in-person training along with a training guide to ensure that the trainee understands how to perform the action and have a resource to reference later.
8. Ask the Right Questions
It can be helpful to use the Socratic Method in training to help the trainee to act independently in problem solving. First, rephrase their question to make sure both of you understand the issue. Second, ask questions that will help to remind them of a similar issue and solution. By asking the right questions, you empower the trainee to think critically about the issue and problem solve without your direct assistance.
9. Enlist Help From the Team
A component of the training process may involve learning about company culture and familiarizing the trainee with basic departmental processes. While you can certainly train the new person on these procedures, consider enlisting some assistance from team members instead. This is especially important if you have limited time for training – it’s better to focus on your area of expertise and leave the generic training to others.
10. Point to Online Training or Courses
If the trainee is lacking some technical knowledge, there are many courses out there to provide assistance and strengthen a particular skillset. If it’s a matter of learning how to use a platform or software, most vendors have technical experts or online training for free or a nominal fee. It’s a good idea to get the trainee up-to-speed on some basic skills before diving into the nitty-gritty of their role.
I have found these 10 tips helpful to train new co-workers in my department in a quick and effective manner. After all, it’s in your best interest to ensure that the new person is capable and comfortable in their new role and does not require continuous assistance. With the proper training in place, the right person for the job will certainly be well-equipped with all the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in their new role.
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